December 22, 2014 at 4:00pm

Memorial for George Fathauer ’42

George Henry Fathauer, inventor, 93, passed away peacefully on December 22, 2014. He was born in Decatur, Illinois to Amy Day Fulton Fathauer and Walter William Fathauer on October 17, 1921. George grew up on a farm outside Decatur, and he was fascinated with electronics from an early age. He began wiring local farmhouses for electricity at the age of 14 and soon after began selling and repairing Philco radios. George attended Millikin University in Decatur and received a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Upon graduation, he worked for RCA in Indianapolis on television amplification. Two years later he joined the Navy, where he commissioned as an ensign during WWII. He received radio and radar schooling at Harvard and M.I.T. and worked on radar in Maine and Virginia. After the war, he co-founded the Regency Electronics company to manufacture and sell the first of his many inventions, a TV signal booster. Regency became an industry leader in consumer electronics for decades to come, but George left to pursue other manufacturing interests. He started Dage Electronics in 1953 to produce the first miniaturized television camera, which was sent into space in 1958 by Navy scientists to transmit live signals back to earth. He later started Radson Engineering of Macon, Illinois to produce electronic farming devices. Over the course of his career, George received more than 70 US patents. One of his most significant achievements was inventing the first scanning police radio, sold under the Bearcat name. In his later years, George became an avid collector of vacuum tubes and radios. George and Helen began their 57-year marriage on November 22, 1951 in Indianapolis. Shortly after the birth of their daughter in 1953 they moved to Decatur, where three boys were added to the family. The Fathauers moved to Mesa, Arizona in 1973. In Arizona, George was an active Rotarian and a supporter of the arts, including Mesa Arts Center, Sonoran Desert Chorale, Mesa Fine Arts Association, and Mesa Symphony, in addition to supporting service organizations such as the Salvation Army.

George is survived by his younger brother David F. Fathauer, children Gerry L. Fathauer, George A. (Susi) Fathauer, John S. Fathauer, and Robert W. Fathauer (Marla Peterson), grandchildren Wesley and Christopher Fathauer (George and Susi); and Max and Rex Fathauer (Robert and Marla).

He was pre-deceased by his wife Helen Eva Stephenson Fathauer and his sisters Alice Fathauer Duncan and Billie Fathauer Schlosser.

A memorial service will be held at 3 PM on January 4, 2015, at First United Methodist Church, 15 E. First Ave., Mesa. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Sonoran Desert Chorale

Published in The Arizona Republic from Jan. 2, 2015. See more here

Class Year: 
1942